|Rockford overcame a 2-0 deficit to take their home preseason opener Thursday night (Photo by Greg Hamil / Rockford IceHogs).
Rockford, Ill. - The Rockford IceHogs won in shootout fashion as they dug themselves out of an early 2-0 hole against the visiting Milwaukee Admirals in a preseason bout at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Thursday night.
Milwaukee grabbed a 1-0 lead 7:30 into the opening period when Jani Lajunen banked a rebound off of Rockford’s Carter Hutton and in from an off angle. The goal was set up by Juuso Puustinen and Joonas Jarvinen.
Later in the frame, the Ads extended their advantage to 2-0 while skating on a power play. Winger Daniel Bang cleaned up an Anthony Bitetto rebound at 15:31.
Rockford reduced the deficit to a goal when Marcus Kruger solved Milwaukee’s Jeremy Smith at 6:23 of the middle frame. The goal was assisted by Byron Froese and Joe Lavin.
At the 18:12 mark of the second period, Rockford’s Ben Smith squeaked one by Milwaukee’s Magnus Hellberg during a 5-on-3 power play. Smith’s goal was set-up by Nick Leddy and Brandon Pirri to tie the game up at two apiece.
Neither squad was able to net a goal during the third period, nor the five minutes of overtime, as the game went to a shootout.
Rockford tallied on their first three shooters in the shootout on Hellberg, gaining goals from Leddy, Pirri and Brandon Bollig. The three goals were enough to outmatch the markers from Taylor Beck and Puustinen for Milwaukee.
In net, Hutton saved nine of 11 shots in 29:30 minutes between the pipes. Rockford’s Mac Carruth was a perfect seven for seven in save attempts during 35:30 minutes of regulation. Milwaukee’s Jeremy Smith saved 13 of 14 shots in 29:30 minutes, while Hellberg blocked 20 of 21 in 35:30 minutes of regulation.